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Turkey Sends Troops To Iraq Border


Turkish troops patrol in Sirnak Province, near the Iraqi border, on June 21.

Turkish troops patrol in Sirnak Province, near the Iraqi border, on June 21.

Turkish troops deployed along the Iraqi border today after a raid by separatist Kurdish militants left 12 Turkish soldiers dead on June 19.

State media said elite troops rappelled down from helicopters and poured out of mechanized infantry units in the operation to surround Kurdish rebels.

Meanwhile, security sources were quoted as saying helicopter gunships bombed suspected positions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrilla group in the provinces of Hakkari and Sirnak.

Kurdish rebels have bases in northern Iraq.

In Ankara, President Abdullah Gul chaired an emergency security meeting, attended by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and military leaders.

Also today, U.S. Ambassador James Jeffrey said the United States would "urgently" consider any requests from Ankara asking for help fighting the PKK, which Washington considers a terrorist group.

Kurdish rebels have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast since 1984.

compiled from agency reports
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